6 Research-Backed Reasons You’re Losing Your Top Talent and How Employers Can Act Now

6 Research-Backed Reasons You’re Losing Your Top Talent and How Employers Can Act Now


Retaining top talent is more challenging than ever since the Great Resignation started. From rage quitting to being recruited away in a competitive market, professionals have a broad set of reasons for taking their careers elsewhere. More organizations are putting a hold on returning to in-office work to offset the already palpable loss of talent. For the foreseeable future, hiring managers and recruiters alike are faced with a challenging hiring landscape with a backdrop of stunning market disruptions and the ongoing Sansdemic.

Now, a new study from a Pew Research Center Survey has unlocked the insights behind why employees are quitting, so you can prevent losing your standout team members to other organizations.

Let’s go through the top six reasons employees are leaving jobs now, and what you can do to limit your exposure and turnover:

    1. Their salary is too low.

The majority of workers who ditched their jobs, a whopping 67%, wanted higher pay. And that’s not all that surprising when you look at inflation and the staggering rise in cost of living across the country. In Phoenix, Arizona, the cost of living has been jumping by over 2% every two months. With rents, gas, and groceries reaching unprecedented highs, in the last few years, many employees are still getting paid the same amount they earned pre-pandemic. Those salaries just aren’t cutting it anymore, and the talent market agrees.

With the transparency available via Salary.com and GlassDoor, employees can see what their peers at other companies make and what current salary averages are in a couple of clicks. Now is a good time for managers to gauge where employees are at on compensation in 1:1 meetings and evaluate across-the-board salary increases. Employers who don’t invest more in their existing employees will have a tougher time when they have to raise compensation levels to replace them later—in addition to the cost of training and on-the-job knowledge gaps.

    1. There are no opportunities for advancement.

Your employees care about your business, but they’re also investing in their careers and professional growth. 63% of Pew survey respondents cited no room for advancement as their reason for calling it quits. If there is little or no room for professional advancement they will probably look to land a promotion and pay jump elsewhere. It’s important to continually balance your organizational growth with new areas for team members to take on bigger titles with more responsibility.

    1. They aren’t being treated with respect.

More than half, 57% of employees to be exact, are leaving because they don’t feel respected at work. It’s important to work with managers to continue growing their leadership skills and approaches. It’s also critical to address toxic team dynamics. Workplace bullying costs organizations over $350 B a year and wreaks havoc on the health of victims. Having a bully or aggressor reduces productivity levels and accelerates turnover.

    1. They’re struggling with covering childcare.

48% of Pew Survey respondents cited struggling with balancing their working responsibilities and childcare. In recent years, working parents have taken multi-tasking to a new level, helping their kids with e-Learning from home in between conference calls or keeping younger children engaged and out of trouble. Offering greater flexibility like a four-day work week or company-covered options for healthcare can help you get ahead of this challenge before it becomes an issue. Make sure you are talking to employees about their bandwidth and hiring managers are coaching them on how to block out the time necessary for breaks and breathing room.

    1. They want more flexible working hours.

45% of respondents don’t have the flexibility to choose when to put in hours. With different work styles, mental health and wellness issues, jumping on Zoom calls at 7 a.m. isn’t conducive for everyone. Whether they’re struggling because of timezones, parenting responsibilities, or sleep apnea, giving people more flexibility to set their own schedules is critical as long as they’re meeting their performance metrics and still making time to make valuable team connections.

    1. They need better benefits.

43% of survey respondents cited a poor benefits package as one of the reasons for leaving their employer.  401k matches, Healthcare Savings Accounts, and generous PTO and parental leave are no longer just perks—they’re all expected. At Staffing strong we are happy to review your mix of benefits with you to show you where you stack up in the current job market.

Have more questions? Staffing Strong has answers.

At Staffing Strong, we help you navigate your hiring and retention goals with deep insights on the job landscape. Our talent specialists can help you understand what’s motivating job seekers and what levers you can use on your budget. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!

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